Book Review: Unseen (Will Trent #7) by Karin Slaughter

“If only Lena hadn’t found it. If only she could take a razor and slice the images out of her brain. They haunted her. They flickered into her vision like an old movie every time she blinked. They filled her with a constant, unrelenting sorrow.”

The seventh instalment in Karin Slaughter‘s Will Trent series of detective thrillers, 2013’s Unseen sees Special Agent Will Trent return with a secret, something he doesn’t want the woman he loves, Dr Sara Linton, to find out. He’s gone undercover in Macon, Georgia, and has put his life at risk to solve a case involving someone close to Sara – her stepson, Jared, who has been gunned down in his own home. Sara holds Lena, Jared’s wife and also a detective, responsible, so Will knows that she will never forgive him if she finds out the truth. As Will tries to solve his case, Sara is forced to confront her past and, without even knowing it, they become involved in the same crime. Soon, both of their lives are in danger.


This was the first Will Trent book that I ever read before going back to the beginning and doing it properly, so I’ve been excited to reach this point again, knowing the characters and relationships much better.

When I originally read this book, I found it very difficult to get into with the multiple stories coming together, the plot jumping back and forth in time, the intertwining relationships and the apparent conflicts that were at boiling point. That and Will being undercover did leave me quite confused! But once I got my head around who everybody was and as the two ongoing investigations collided, I soon got stuck into the mystery of it all.

On a second reading, I’m very used to Slaughter’s complex plots and in-depth investigations so I loved seeing how they cleverly came together, and it was another gripping case with so many standout moments that I could remember it all vividly.

The conclusions were equally intense and shocking, with the final few chapters being completely unpredictable. There was one chapter in particular that is left on a bit of a cliffhanger regarding what Lena had seen. And while it was a long way off to find out what that was with the interchanging viewpoints, it really held my attention.

Slaughter is such a talented writer as the plot and characters are so well constructed that there’s no doubt why she remains a dominant voice in the crime fiction genre. With themes of child abuse and rape, it is a hard-hitting read with a number of dark scenes involving some sinister characters. Slaughter, however, is always a very compassionate writer when it comes to such subject matters, as she deals with the aftermath of these traumas excellently.

On my first reading, I found Unseen to be an incredibly dense book. As part of a series, I knew I would have thought much more highly of this book if I knew some of the background as there was obviously a lot of development that this instalment was built on. And that’s what made me so eager to start from the beginning again. And when I finally got around to re-reading it, I absolutely flew through it, so I wouldn’t recommend that you read this one as a standalone as there is a lot to get your head around.

The book does do well to touch on most of the character’s previous issues and relationships, but there wasn’t enough context for me to know whose side to be on when I first read this book. Because of this, scenes like Sara and Lena finally having their big confrontation didn’t have the same impact the first time around. On my re-read, however, it was a massive development, and I’m so excited by how the story is moving forward.

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